I resent slugs mightily, especially right now after looking at the primroses I planted earlier and seeing nasty, brown, rotting streaks over the blossoms that I know have been caused by those slimy menaces. They have been the one thing that have kept my vegetable (and flower) garden from being totally organic. I don't use anything but compost for fertilizer--no chemicals. I mulch. But no matter what organic method I have tried, those slugs keep coming, sliming their way to my flowers and veggies, laughing their silent but no doubt mocking slimy laugh as they consume the beauty and abundance I have TRIED to produce.
Diatomaceous earth--no go, not in the very wet Pacific Northwest. It's basically ineffective after it rains, and slugs proliferate in the wet. Beer--somehow, I seem to have the only tea-totaling slugs on earth. The dear hubby has nixed putting geese in our yard, which I have to agree with, because I don't like having to avoid stepping over goose poop in our yard (yeah, I know, it's natural fertilizer, but geese are also often mean. Also, we have a cat--a big, affectionate, but weenie cat that would no doubt be terrorized by such a bird).
Salt--no. There is a reason why ancient Assyrians "salted the earth" after conquering their enemies. Salt was their form of making the fields of the conquered people unable to produce crops. We have enough slugs here that using salt all the time to get rid of them would render my goal of producing luscious veggies near impossible.
So I have ended up using Cory's Slug and Snail Death. Part of the reason is that it is very effective. The other is that there is something honest and upfront about what the product does: no hiding it, no prettifying the goal of the product. It deals death to slugs and snails, period. I appreciate honesty like that.
However, I still want an organic garden. I don't like the idea of nasty chemicals seeping into what I eat, look at, and smell. I want to be able to pick the veggies, give them a good rinse under the faucet, and eat, right then and there.
I am persistent, so I keep looking. And today, much to my delight, I found the perfect Pacific Northwest solution: coffee!
Here's where I found it: http://www.plantea.com/slug-baits-coffee.htm
It seems that caffeine is toxic to snails. However, as every avid gardener knows, coffee grounds are great to add to compost. So, using coffee and coffee grounds will repel slugs while at the same time helping your garden soil become richly productive. Is that great or what? The special obsession of the Seattle area--coffee in all its wondrous forms--gets rid of the bane of Pacific Northwest existence: slugs.
I haven't tried it yet, but I certainly will. It will mean cutting open used Senseo pods, but I'm fine with that.
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